Wringing of hands, gnashing of teeth

I just wrapped up my first panel at this year’s Orycon in Portland, Oregon, which was titled Twitter Novels, Kindle, eBooks, Podscast and the Market. I was one of three panelists; the other panelists were Dianna Rodger and Michael Briggs (husband of Patricia Briggs, the author GoH).

I brought my Sony eReader and my iPhone for “show and tell,” so to speak, and we launched into a surprisingly heated discussion. There were a good number of published authors in the audience, and many of them were venting about how the NY publishers are giving them a raw deal on eBook royalties. Many of them seemed quite angry, in fact. I suppose I didn’t help matters by saying that VT does not believe in charging the same price for print and eBook formats, because print requires the additional expense of printing, and eBooks don’t. Therefore, eBooks should cost less than print books.

One very passionate author immediately launched into a salvo about how the editor, the artist and the author deserve to be paid for their work, and it shouldn’t matter what the format is. And while I definitely agree that all the people who work on a title deserve to be paid for their efforts, I was merely pointing out the public perception of value. Continue reading